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Building Adobe WorkflowLab, Part 6: Development

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In part 6 of their series on the design and creation of WorkflowLab, Aaron Pedersen, James Polanco, and Doug Winnie, the authors of Adobe Flash Platform from Start to Finish: Working Collaboratively Using Adobe Creative Suite 5, discuss the development of the WorkflowLab codebase. Based on the wireframes (and later comps) and architecture discussions, the team now could begin constructing the application, bringing Adobe’s vision to life.
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Ready for Development

The creation of WorkflowLab involved a great deal of careful planning, as you've seen in the first five parts of this series:

  • Part 1 described the process of determining our high-level vision and creating the first prototype of the WorkflowLab user interface.
  • Part 2 discussed how we put together the initial use cases and features, along with the technical questions and scenarios to help get us started on creating workflows and wireframes during the design-planning phase.
  • Part 3 examined the intricacies of planning for development and explained how we chose the essential technologies we would use.
  • Part 4 explained how we settled on the best build and release process for our application.
  • Part 5 focused on creativity. The development team chose Adobe Flash Catalyst and the Adobe Flex framework to build our application. The design team selected Adobe Illustrator to build vector-based designs, allowing development to use FXG support in Flash Catalyst to convert those assets into components or Flex code.

WorkflowLab's development got underway once the planning stage was complete. The development team began the construction of WorkflowLab's code base as the design team started creating detailed Adobe Illustrator comps. With the Spark architecture in Flex 4, the goal was to enable design and development to work in parallel; once the designs were finalized, development could integrate the real user interface into the application seamlessly.

The development effort was broken down into two parts: application framework development and component development. Let's look at those areas individually.

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